Posted by Fitz

Given that we’re all of childbearing age and likely know someone (or many someones) who have dealt with infertility, I thought I’d remind us all of what not to say when a friend is going through treatments, miscarriages, or a plain old difficult time getting pregnant.  Some of you will read this and think that no one with a brain cell would say these things to anyone, but they’ve all been heard by my friends or me.  So think twice, and be sure to read the end – when I tell you what you should say to someone in these painful, heartwrenching shoes.

1.  It must be God’s plan.  Don’t tell people that God doesn’t want them to fulfill their greatest dream – that’s just plain mean.

2.  I have a friend who did X, Y, or Z and it worked for them!  No one cares what your friend did.  Ever. Really.

3.  If you just relax, you’ll be sure to get pregnant.  Right, because relaxing will fix a damaged fallopian tube or make me ovulate when I don’t.   Thanks!

4.  If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.  While this could be true, it is also insensitive to say to a woman who is doing everything in her power – subjecting herself to constant poking and prodding, seeing multiple doctors, injecting herself with powerful doses of hormones – to have a baby.

5.  Why don’t you just adopt?  Infertility is a process, and some will absolutely end up adopting – if and when they are ready.  They have already thought about it, mark my words – and your suggestion will not be taken as helpful.

6.  I’d never do anything so invasive.  That’s great if you wouldn’t, but some people would – and you never really know what you’d do until you’re in those shoes.  So why bother saying something that could make a person feel bad about their own choices?

7.  Did it work?  You’ll know when your friend/sister/whoever is pregnant, finally.  You don’t need to ask for a play by play – it just puts additional pressure on the person.

So what do you say when someone you know is experiencing the heartbreak of infertility?  It’s simple, really:

“I’m sorry you’re going through something so awful.  I’m here for you.  How can I help?’

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